The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Get the TMA Images feed
postman

Latest Posts
Showing 1-50 of 8,739 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Harboro' Rocks (Rocky Outcrop) — Fieldnotes

The last time I came here I spent too much time climbing around on the rocks and in the cave to go up to the top by the trig point, consequently I missed out on the the best view, the natural but funky menhirs, the rock chair and the now all but gone neolithic chambered cairn.
There's no end of places to go in this part of the Peak district, but I thought I'd come back here and finish off my look around the rocks, nine years later.
I trail after a couple of climbers hauling big bundles of ropes up the hill, they soon go one way so I go the other and make my way straight up to the top, to find the rock chair. Up on the top is an out of place chap in a suit and tie walking his dog, we nod as our paths cross, finding the chair isn't as simple as I thought it would be, naturally it is the same colour as all the other rocks. But a few minutes later and I'm sat between it's welcoming arms, the same year that I last came, six months later and someone has tried there best to destroy it, in Stu's pic of the chair the breaks are bright and tear wrenching, but now it's all the same colour and I had to remind myself that not long ago it looked even better. But one thing that hasn't changed in the last ten years is the big factory thing at the foot of the hill, its really quite an eye sore. But the rest of the views are excellent, Carsington water, Minninglow and Aleck low, a fleet of wind turbines and all the gnarled rock beneath my feet, all good stuff. After lounging round in the chair I go up to the trig point, passing the presumed whereabouts of a Neolithic chambered cairn, now all gone. Amid the rocks on the hill top are a couple of natural menhirs, one points towards Minning Low, kinda, the other has a basin in it's top, with a plug hole, cool.
Going back down the rocks to a lower terrace we come to the cave, a large squarish cave made of the edges of massive blocks of stones, it has a chimney, which you could fall through from above if your not careful. In the lowest corner the cave dips under a large boulder and goes off into a cramped dark who knows where, I got as far as I could without getting filthy before I turned back. I love caves, kind of scary, secluded, atmospheric places, I decide to go to Thors cave there and then. So off back to the car after another long look at some of the rock formations, and what looks like a short souterrain, is it a spring well, a drain of some kind or what, I dunno, it's weird.
Minning low looks pretty good on the horizon, but it was a bit too misty to get a good photo.

Harboro' Rocks (Rocky Outcrop) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman<b>Harboro' Rocks</b>Posted by postman

End Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

I parked to the west of the barrow on the side of the road next to an old quarry, a bit further down the road a footpath heads east along a farm type track. After the footpath turns right keep going along the track until it peters out in an undergrowth choked kind of way. Then head up hill and there's your barrow, no shouting, no chill busting farmers, just a quiet peaceful place with a great big barrow.
I'm fairly appalled at Stubobs visit when he came across four dead cows in the barrows scooped out interior, no such disgrace here today though, so I perch my butt on the craters rim, and rain down negative vibes upon the farm yonder, hopefully they'll go bust one day soon, them and many more. Is it too negative to be disgruntled at not being allowed to go somewhere?

End Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>End Low</b>Posted by postman<b>End Low</b>Posted by postman<b>End Low</b>Posted by postman<b>End Low</b>Posted by postman

Lean Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

The first time I tried to get up to this cairn I ridiculously tried to get there with two dogs and Eric, who to his credit had a very gung ho attitude, but even though three fences barred our way it was the cows that sent us packing and hoping for better results next time.
Next time....
After staring at Lean low for quite a while from Arbor Low, I reckoned my chances of getting up there were pretty good, early in the morning on my own, what could go wrong.
Parked my car across the road from the footpath stile, not a problem, walked through the stile and into the field, now, the footpath goes off in totally the wrong direction, there is no footpath that helpfully drops one of at the cairn, so I deviate from the path and head for the corner of the field. Stepping over the electric fence, I'm reminded of why electric fences aren't funny, but there's something else round here that's not funny, it proceeded now to shout at me, I couldn't tell what it said nor could I see it, but I know what angry farmer sounds like so I step back over the fence and walk the fifty yards over to the footpath and follow it, willfully walking away from where I'm trying to get to. There's nothing for it but to ask the farmer for permission to access the ancient monument ironically placed in his custody, but thankfully not the shouty one.
I approached the quad bike riding farm guy, with my "I want to talk to you" face fully on, he didn't come over until it was obvious the weird bloke from far away was going to stare at him until he came over, so he did.
I asked as politely as my mother would have liked if it would be OK to have a look at the cairn on top of the hill, but it went the kind of way I rather expected it would, he said no, he did not say yes, he definitely didn't say sure mate I'll give you a lift up there right now, no, he said, I've got bulls up there, I resisted glancing at his crotch, thanked him kindly, turned and walked away, back to the car.
As I was walking along the big A515, a large black 4x4 drove slowly by, I readied myself for diving into the verge, but no gun appeared so I kept going.
Fifty yards away from my car the big back monster truck pulled up right next to mine, here we go I thought, English farmers are the worst of all, I clenched my fists and several sphincters, and walked over to meet the driver, He said "what are you doing?"
"Your Mother" then I punched him in the face, or I might have said I'm trying to get upto that cairn, one of those things anyway.
"What? he said,
I rolled my eyes, and took a deep breath.
I pointed up at the cairn, "you know what a cairn is?", I motioned a hand in a cairn shape, "an ancient burial mound made of stones, that cairn there" he then proceeded to take my photo, that's a cheap trick, hang on mines in me pocket, he also said some other things but I couldn't understand his inane waffle, his thick accent, probably a scouser. I tried to exude an air of utter bemusement. Then he was gone, like a thief in the night, or a pig in shit, or a dick in a big car. I unclenched everything and sat in my car for a minute until I'd stopped shaking, then I thought, hopefully later today he'll look at the picture he took of me and he'll recognise a look on my face that he probably hasn't seen for a while, a look that says he thinks I'm a dick.

Lean Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Lean Low</b>Posted by postman

Arbor Low (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

21st September 2016

It's been six years since I was last here, flipping blimey, really? it was an equinox then too, but spring not Autumn as it is now, well actually the equinox is tomorrow, in the afternoon some time, that would kind of ruin your chances of a good sun rise I'd have thought. My day of is the 21st though so that's why i'm a day early, I'm not happy about it though, I try to get out on these days above all others, it just has to be done, almost as if the fate of the world rested in my being at some stones for the sunrise. I've lied to work in the middle of Christmas working, I've gone out a couple of days after having complicated surgery, I've gone to the lake district, forgotten my daughter and gone back and then on to the Peak district, it's important to me, saving the world, and everyone else, probably.

With Arbor low being so close to me I was well in time for the sunrise, but unfortunately the sky didn't look like it wanted to cooperate, it was a fairly grey day, I sighed inwardly, then realised I was alone and sighed out loud. But then a miracle happened over to the east there was a small thin sliver of actual sky, close to the horizon, could I dare to hope that the sun would pass up through this tiniest of gaps. I unpacked my sitting mat and sat upon it, they're very handy things, sitting mats, if you find one on a mountain top I strongly recommend you pick it up and nick it, then I waited for the great luminary to make an entrance, however brief it may be, if at all.


Whilst I waited from my vantage point on the west bank I could see that were it to rise where I predicted it would be just to the left of the big barrow in the henge, right where a gap in the henge is, was the gap made by the building of the barrow, or is it especially for folk like me to spy on the secret paths of the sun. I also wondered where the ancient people would have stood and watched what ever was going on here on days like these, were they outside the henge? upon the henge? in the ditch? in the circle? did they even stand at all, it might have been a dancing kind of experience, I don't do dancing, not sober anyway, so I continue to sit, and wait.
Until the waiting was over, the sun was coming, and I could see it through my crack in the cloud, I don't think I've ever said that before, but there it was, a golden sliver of beautiful light, I photographed it, but my skills are seriously lacking in low light, but you give it a go don't you? without resourcing to multiple cameras and much trickery, or perhaps not.
It only took five minutes and its completely passed through my crack, I saw it all, just not all at the same time, then it was gone, swallowed by the grey.

World saving duties over I set about the stones, inspecting each one individually, on one of the stones on the west side I think I spotted a couple of very worthy cup marks, I'm not sure I've seen them before, nor heard of them, so It's always worth the time to inspect each stone singly.
Most of these stones could be re-erected, much to the benefit of the site, Burl called Arbor low "the Stonehenge of the north", but that doesn't seem to bring the crowds, imagine if the stones were a standing. Some couldn't be stood back up though as they've shattered into up to a half a dozen pieces, but it's OK to have a few lying down, isn't it.

From the henge bank Gib hill is looming large at the back of the next field, I always go over before I head off to pastures new, not sure why, I don't think it matters. The information board tells me that Gib hill is two cairns, a long one with a round one on top, I don't think I knew that before either. Another cairn can be seen from here, across the big road the A515, Lean low it's called, i'm off there now. Tatty bye.

Arbor Low (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by postman

Gib Hill (Artificial Mound) — Images

<b>Gib Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Gib Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Gib Hill</b>Posted by postman

Parc Le Breos (Long Cairn) — Fieldnotes

It's been a decade since my first and only time here, and only the fact that the Swaynes howe chambers on Rossilli down were lost in drizzle and low cloud brings me back now. But that's not to say that the place isn't worthy of a second visit, it very much is, just that I was on the Gower trying to get to places I'd neglected on my other trip here.
So with a spare half hour the road sign of Park Le Breos couldn't be ignored.
It was a beautiful day yesterday but today it just rained all the time, which is weird because that was the weather I got ten years ago too, some things never change. The chambered cairn hasn't changed either, it's still crumpled at one corner, still full of water and still it's all to myself. I wondered whether my waiting daughter would mind if I went off looking for the cave, I decided she would mind so I made do with a short walk round it in the woods, peeking through the trees making my own silly Silbury game, coooeee.

Parc Le Breos (Long Cairn) — Images

<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman<b>Parc Le Breos</b>Posted by postman

Maen Ceti (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

The day had started off grey and full of drizzle, the drive down here had been one of concerned skyward glances, but there was no need, this isn't the north where it's purportedly "grim", this is the south, the deep south, almost as far south as you can go without going to England, and you don't want that.
The sun had shone all day long, which had gone a long way to salve my failed attempt at Paviland cave, but it had done nothing to boost my spirits after the abominable hedges of Samson's Jack, I decided that sunset at a burial chamber was what the day needed to finish it off.
Maen Ceti won out over the Swaynes Howe chambers, it's much less of a walk and with a teenager in tow who's moods swing further apart than heaven and hell, it was an easy decision, there's always tomorrow, after a zoo and the cave part two maybe.
I parked in the moonscape car park south of the big stone, some people were in front of us so we gave them a few minutes head start before starting our preamble across the moor, as per the new stone visiting rule book.
Standing beside the Maen Ceti is a belittling experience, it's like, really big, big enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Silbury and Stonehenge, but it was once bigger, in many pictures you can see the two large pieces that came off one side, when they broke off the whole rock lost its equilibrium and shifted slightly on it's orthostats. The orthostats number is nine and they section off the under side of the stone into two chambers, which is now partly exposed due to the broken capstone. Causes of the broken stone range from ice acting in a crack, lightning and struck by a saint with a sword, or all three.
Standing on top you can see the Great cairn.
The underside of the Arthur's stone usually has a puddle underneath it, it's usual enough for some to have called it a spring, doubtful as its all dry right now, so I squat like a frog and waddle round under it reveling in it's dryness.
The site was just as I remembered it, no smaller no bigger, it's the right colour and the right distance from the road, but what I couldn't appreciate from my other time here was the view to the sea west and north, it was all hidden by a thin mist, but its lovely and clear right now, which is nice, I wonder if it'll last til tomorrow.

Maen Ceti (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman<b>Maen Ceti</b>Posted by postman
Showing 1-50 of 8,739 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: